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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  June 13, 2013 10:00am-1:01pm EDT

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to first time "washington" guest brian fung. we appreciate your being on " washington journal." guest: thank you, good to be here. host: the house is coming into session and it will be working on defense authorization, as we learn from our guest, representative randy forbes earlier. the senate is also in session. on c-span3, you can tune in and mueller as hector testifies before the house judiciary committee. that is live on c-span3. thanks for being with us on "washington journal." here is the house. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker.
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the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. june 13, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable paul cook to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the 2013, the nuary 3, chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the
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gentleman from massachusetts, r. mcgovern, for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, this morning i along with many of my colleagues and scores of anti-hunger advocates began the snap challenge. i'll live off of the average snap been fit of $4.50 ber day, that's $31.50 for seven days. the snap challenge is not a new fad diet, it's not a weight loss scheme to get ready for the summer. rather it's a way of raising awareness not only how important this program is in combating hunger in america, but also about how inadequate the benefit truly is. being on snap is not easy. to qualify you have to have an income under 130% of poverty. that's under $25,000 for a family of three. let me repeat that. a family of three has to earn
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less than $25,000 to qualify for snap. and the average benefit only $4.50 a day. that's not much to live off of. mr. speaker, we all know that rent is high, utilities are high, transportation costs are high, and food prices are high. yet the snap benefit is still so inadequate it typically don't even last an entire month. the average snap benefit typically lasts just 21 days out of the month, leaving a family or individual, nine or 10 days without support. yesterday i explained how difficult it is to shop on a fixed budget that must be stretched for a fixed amount of time. i'm fortunate enough i don't have to count every penny when i shop, but with $31.50 for the week, didn't have the luxury to buy very much fresh fruits and vegetables, let alone organic ones. it took me a lot longer to shop because i had to make sure that i didn't go over my budget. and i know that my meals will be smaller than they normally are. don't get me wrong when i talk about my shopping experience and my participation in the snap challenge.
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for me this challenge will be over a week. going into this i know i only have to endure this for seven days. for millions of hardworking americans who don't earn enough to make ends meet, they could be on food assistance for a lot longer. this is not about me and it's not about my colleagues. it's about the program. it's about snap. and the fact that snap works. more than 47 million americans rely on this program to help put food on their tables. they are not looking for handout, they are looking for a hand up. americans are proud and they are industrious. we like to do things on our own, but we don't turn our backs on people in need. that's one of the things that makes america great. we care about -- we take care of our own. and that's what snap does. it's a way of helping our own. our brothers and sisters and children and seniors, our friends and neighbors, even strangers. and it does so by helping those who simply don't earn enough to make ends meet. those of us taking the snap challenge are using our positions here to raise awareness of the program. we are using our positions as members of congress to tell the
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american people that snap works. we are here to tell our house colleagues not to cut this important program. the snap challenge starting today and lasting through next wednesday will likely coincide with floor consideration of the farm bill. that bill includes $20.5 billion worth of cuts to snap. cuts that will kick two million people off of snap all together and 210,000 kids off the free school meal program. and those cuts if enacted will come on top of the looming across-the-board snap cuts that will happen in november. that cut will result in a family of four receiving $25 less each month for food. i believe we can end hunger now if we just find the will to do so. i believe we need white house leadership to do so. i continue to call for a white house conference on food and nutrition to address hunger and nutrition issues in this country. but i also believe this house must do the right thing. this house hasn't held one single hearing about hunger in america or about the snap
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program. opponents of snap talk about the program being full of fraud, waste, and abuse. it is not true. less than 2% of ineligible people are snap for all their bluster these opponents never once talked about how to strengthen the program. that's because they don't care about the program. they just want to cut it. they want to eliminate it. i'm taking this challenge to make a difference. -- tweet and ow share my experiences and blog. reducing the ability of poor people to buy food is a rotten thing to do. if we can't restore the snap cuts, then i will do everything i can to defeat this farm bill because americans deserve better. join me in this fight, let's end hunger now. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair recognizes the the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, i rise
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today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1989 tiananmen square crackdown and beijing massacre in china. a quarter century ago, the world watched with horror as the atrocities in tiananmen square and nearby streets in beijing unfolded. on this anniversary period, it is with solidarity that we remember the victims of that deep tradgedy. the courageous students protesting on those days in april, may, and june of 1989 sought basic freedoms. prophetic in their presence, they called upon their auto contractic communist -- autocratic communist government to respect human rights and put an end to deep-seated corruption. communists championed political reform. they posted he veterans day says on the democracy wall in beijing, for that he was arrested, imprisoned twice for a total of 18 years.
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e democracy wall and its postings shut down. today still autocratic and communist, china faces many of the same challenges despite promises by its new leadership that reform would occur. millions of chinese people remain denied inadequate food, housing, health care, and over 1,200 chinese dissidents and critics are known to be imprisoned or detained for standing up for freedom of speech. deep disparities between the rich and poor in china. exist, close to a billion people, 60% of its people exist on less than $15 a day, all the while the government seizes land and forces eviction. meanwhile, communist party leaders have become billionaires, often through corruption graft and theft with immunity from a lawless regime.
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the rise economically, to rise economically in china you must take an oath to the communist party. and then be accepted into that club of politicians who become vastly wealthy as they climb the party ladder. the market leninism that drives china has resulted in $83 billionaires buying seats in their parliament. i can only imagine what that money power does to drive out the voices of the masses of people longing to be free. the average fortune among these wealthiest 83 communist party elegates is $3.35 billion. environmental issues are also a major source of concern for the chinese people, and they remain unaddressed. "the new york times" recently reported on the findings of the global burden of disease study which states air pollution contributed to 1.2 million, premature deaths in china in 2010. it is no secret religious
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organizations are heavily restricted and monitored in china. the catholic church is banned. often ethnic and religious minorities are intimidated or harassed by government officials. despite extensive documentation of the truth, the chinese communist party continues to manipulate and censor the facts surrounding the events at tiananmen square and beijing a quarter century ago. not to mention their ongoing censorship of the press and internet, including the social media denying facebook and twitter the ability to operate. journalists are regularly harassed and often imprisoned. in remembrance of freedom's profits, pursuing liberty at tiananmen square in beijing a quarter century ago, and those who dream of a more liberty loving future in that country. our nation honors their noble spirits, their courage, their aspirations, and their lives given in pursuit of the cause
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of liberty. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, for five minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, in 17 days unless congress acts, the stafford student loan program, which is the workhorse loan program for millions of college students across america, is going to see the interest rate double from 3.4% to 6.8%. again, stepping back for a moment, six years ago the democrats passed a college cost reduction act which cut that rate from 6.8% to 3.4%. it was a five-year bill concurrent with the higher education authorization act. last year with minutes to spare, we extended that lower rate to -- of 3.4% for an additional year and now once again we are hours away from students who are about to embark on life decisions in
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terms of which college to attend, which course to follow, and they need to know with some certainty what the borrowing costs, which for many is now a stark reality in terms of paying the costs of higher education. this morning a "new york times" there was a very encouraging story about the fact that the number of college degrees in the u.s. has hit an all-time high. students are now completing college and it's just in time in terms of the work force needs of our country. again, the same study which was released yesterday shows that in fact we have work force needs for high degree skills which the education system is still scrambling to catch up. there is no question for young people in america this question of protecting the affordability of higher education is of critical importance to both their future and to our nation's future. unfortunately, the only action in the house of representatives was a measure which the majority party rammed through a couple weeks ago which the
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congressional budget office monday issued an analysis of. what the c.b.o. told the country is that the house republican bill, which is a variable rate -- interest rate program, would actually cost students more than if we did nothing and let the rates double to 6.8%. i want to repeat that. that measure actually worsens the situation if we did absolutely nothing and allowed the rate to go to 6.8%. it's obvious what we need to do. as a congress, we need to recognize the fact that we have a national interest in terms of maintaining access to higher education, and we also need to recognize that families are being crushed with the costs of higher education when we need to protect the lower interest rate. i have a bill, h.r. 5095, which has over 150 co-sponsors in the house. it received 51 votes in the senate. that would protect that lower rate for two years and allow us to do a new higher education authorization act. this morning just a few minutes
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ago i execute add discharge petition for members of congress to sign to get the h.r. 1595 on the floor immediately so we can protect the lower interest rates for young people, again, embarking on next year's college curriculum and semester. again i would urge all members to sign the discharge petition, h.r. 501595, which will protect the lower rate so we can in a measured, intelligent way come up with a higher education authorization act which will go through the whole gamut of issues for college costs whether it's perkins loans, pell grants, allowing students to refinance after leaving college. giving high school students better information as they make a decision that is almost the equivalent of buying a house when you go to college in modern day america. again, the stakes are huge but the payoff is even greater for students which that report issued yesterday documents. lastly, mr. speaker, i want to again join some of my colleagues who are going to speak later this morning.
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we'll note the fact that it is now six months ago to the day that my state, the state of connecticut, saw a horrible tragedy, young children who were slaughtered in an act of senseless gun violence, and today survivors of the newtown massacre are all across capitol hill urging congress to act. congressman thompson, congressman king painstakingly worked out a compromise bill to strengthen background checks in our country, balancing constitutional concerns. again totally consistent with the heller decision which sets forth the individual right to gun ownership. it is time for this congress to act. we should pass the thompson-king bill. we should listen to those families, the survivors of the newtown massacre, who are, again, begging congress to move forward and act on this measure. again it will protect the rights of gun owners, but it will also protect the public safety of this country which is so long overdue. again, i want to salute congressman thompson,
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congressman king, congresswoman esty who represents the newtown district in connecticut, all of my colleagues from my state, all across the country who have come together in response to this horrible event and to make sure that, again, it will not just be a passing memory but we will build something from that event that will protect americans who -- again epidemic of gun violence that has unfortunately goes on every single day in this country. with that i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, ms. sewell, for five minutes. ms. sewell: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. sewell: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize and pay tribute to the life and legacy of mr. fred d. williams iii, a beloved husband and father. highly respected community leader and successful business
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owner from the great state of alabama who sadly passed away on june 11, 2013, at the age of 76. this phenomenal man was an extraordinary source of guidance for me and so many others. while i am deeply saddened by his passing, i'm confident that his legacy will continue through the countless people that he touched during his life. for more than 50 years, the exceptional man owned and operated fred's flower and gift shop in the historic selma, alabama. opened on october 15, 1956, fred's flower and gift shop served as a pillar in the selma community until july, 2011, when mr. fred williams retired. mr. fred williams iii represents a whole line of wonderful business owners in my hometown of selma, alabama. fred williams was married for 45 years to martha j. williams
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who preceded him in death in 2003. their marriage was blessed with two beautiful children, kay francis williams of alexandria, virginia, and kimberly joyce williams of minneapolis, minnesota. he was also the doting and loving grandfather of mckenzie and madison dillon. for me this is a personal loss since i was privileged to have been raised by fred williams. his daughter, kim, was my childhood best friend and i grew up in the williams' household. in fact, there's not a childhood memory of mine that does not include the williams' family or my many visits to fred's florists. because of the closeness of my family -- that my family shared with the williams family over the years, i affectionately called him uncle fred. uncle fred has left a mark on the city of selma, alabama, and i am so grateful for the part he played in raising me. why i'm sad i am not able to attend the funeral today to be
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with kim and kay, i rejoice in knowing that uncle fred's legacy will live on in the many people that he touched. i find comfort in remembering his laugh, the way he always walked with his head cocked to one side and of course the way he always brought a smile to my face as he called me terri sue. i will carry with me the love, support, laughter and precious memories of uncle fred. on behalf of the state of alabama and this nation, i ask my colleagues in the united states house of representatives to join me in celebrating the wonderful life and legacy of mr. fred d. williams iii, an extraordinary american and an alabama treasure. i yield back the rest of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. thompson, for five minutes. thank you, mr.
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speaker. six months ago our nation witnessed a horrible massacre of innocence in newtown, connecticut. in the six months since, there are two important facts that we should note. first, nearly 5,000 more americans have been killed by people using guns. second, congress' done absolutely nothing to reduce and prevent these deaths. the senate took one vote to expand background checks. sadly, it failed when a minority of senators voted against the wishes of 90% of americans. the only thing more disappointing than the senate voting down this pro-gun owner, anti-criminal legislation is that the house has refused to vote at all. my republican colleague, peter king, and i have introduced h.r. 1565, legislation that's identical to the senate background check effort. we have three republicans, we
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have 179 democrats, a total of 182 co-authors. surely we need more support from the republican side of the aisle, but the truth is this shouldn't be a controversial bill and it shouldn't be partisan. background checks are something that everyone in both parties should be able to agree on. everyone says they're against criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns, but you can't be against that and be against background checks. background checks are the first line of defense. our bipartisan bill strengthens that first line of defense. it's anti-criminal. right now a criminal can buy a firearm at a gun show, over the internet or through a newspaper ad, because those sales don't require a background check. last year the background check system identified and denied 88,000 gun sales to criminals,
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domestic abusers, those with dangerous mental illness and other prohibited purchasers. however, those same criminals could buy those same guns at a gun show or over the internet without any questions asked because those sales don't require a background check. our bill closes this huge loophole, greatly reducing the number of places a criminal can buy a gun, because our bill would require background checks at all gun shows and for internet or newspaper sales. gun owner and it has reasonable exceptions of firearm transfers between families and friends. you won't have to get a background check when you inherit the family rifle or borrow a shotgun for a hunting trip or purchase a gun from a friend, hunting buddy or neighbor. it bans the creation of federal -- of federal registry and makes the misuse of records a
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felony, punishable of up to 15 years in prison. it allows active duty military to buy firearms in their home state or the state in which they're stationed. it authorizes the use of state conceal carry permits in lieu of background checks to purchase a firearm and it allows interstate handgun sales from licensed dealers. we have a bill that's ready for the floor. it's bipartisan. it will help keep guns from criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill and it supports the second amendment rights of law-abiding americans. if the bill didn't support the second amendment, my name wouldn't be on it. i'm a gun owner and i believe that law-abiding americans have a constitutional right to own a firearm. but i'm also a father and a grandfather, and i know that we have a responsibility to do everything we can to reduce gun violence. this bill deserves a vote. the people of newtown deserve a vote. the families of the nearly 5,000 people who've been killed
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since newtown deserve a vote. our kids and our grandkids deserves this vote. mr. speaker, please, give us a vote. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry, for five minutes. mr. mchenry: thank you, mr. speaker. in this country there are children diagnosed with rare iseases every day. and while it's a tragedy that anyone's diagnosed with a disease or cancer in this country, it is of particular tragedy that the youngest in r society are diagnosed with oftentimes incurable diseases and ailments. and so today i rise to support the kids first research act,
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because it's important that we ocus our national resources on fixing these problems, these challenges that as a society we can ban together -- band together and put research dollars where our hearts are. we do this in individual ways, whether it's donating to a local charity or, you know, focusing our interests in making sure alindicates resources necessary to come up with life-saving cures through the national institutes of health or other areas of government research. but at home we have something alled brett's ride, and it's an incredible story of a young man at age 17 who's diagnosed myosarcoma, it's a
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rare pediatric cancer that roughly 300 children are diagnoseded with each year. it's very rare. this young man, brett gosnell, was diagnosed at age 17 with this cancer. now, brett was an all-american kid from hickory, and mary ann and mark gosnell were his parents. wo younger brothers. great american family. 'm pleased to know the family. and i was pleased to know brett. brett was an all-star kid, a kid i would hope to have as my wife and i start a family. but brett was a very special guy, and the type of kid, he was not pleased with his s.a.t. score when it came to -- his math s.a.t. score.
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he got a 740 on the math portion of the s.a.t., so after a round of chemotherapy, he retook the s.a.t. and he scored a perfect 800 on the math portion. incredible young man. and so what his parents did was come together and his family and in brett's urging to come up with a charity bike run. now hundreds of people participate in every october in hickory, north carolina. and even folks like me that aren't great bike riders or particularly athletic, participate in brett's honor. and each year they're able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for rhabdo research. i tell this story because it's very important. brett's story is a very important one and inspiring to so many of us. but while brett was diagnosed early and still insisted on
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going off to college at the university of virginia, you ow, he did lose his fight to rhabdo in 2006. and brett left a letter for us that we read every october at brett's ride for rhabdo, and he left this letter that he dictated to a friend of his. he calls it a challenge for friends of brett gosnell. he says, i'm not here physically but i'm looking down from heaven on this assembled group. i challenge you to adopt a new goal, a new way of life for ourself, serving others at the center of all you do and not just for today or tomorrow but for the remainder of your life. i ask you to look for ways in which to make a difference in the lives of others.
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regardless of who they are or where you find them, they are god's children and they need us. we must return -- we must turn away from thinking only of ourselves and remember that each one of us has a capacity for doing something, discover what you can do and do it. i ask you to do that. but there's something else. in the act of helping others, think of this. it was my desire to make a difference, and i tried to do that in opportunities that were given to me. there was so much more than i wanted to do, but i'll keep my eye on you from heaven. now, pick up where i left off and serve so many others. hear this plea and respond to it. this is your friend who asks you to accept this challenge. do something meaningful with your life. after all, that's how you can
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most honor me and my life. signed, brett. i bring this up and i bring this to the house floor to urge my colleagues to ensure we support important pediatric research so we don't have to lose another brett gosnell. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. pelosi, for five minutes. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not. that is the sandy hook promise. tomorrow marks six months since the tragedy in newtown, a tragedy seared into the minds of every person across america. indeed many, millions across the world. like the anniversaries of the shooting in tucson and arizona and oak creek, and so many other communities, tomorrow
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arks a anniversary of shock, uncertainty, violence, horror. tomorrow marks another solemn reminder of the persistent plague of gun violence in our society, and the ongoing challenge to end it. over the past six months, many words have been spoken to offer our love and support to the community of newtown and to the students and teachers of sandy hook. from the start we have known that words of comfort would never be enough. it would be no substitute for the action that we must take, that would be a truly fitting memorial to the 20 children and six teachers and administrators lost that day. yesterday we had visits from the families, brought pictures of their loved ones who were lost. david gordon, lauren, ben,
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enjamin wheeler, mary, dylan heartbreaking photos of these children and family members who were lost. i don't know how much more note vation we need than to see -- motivation we need than to see the tears in oiler eyes and the resolve in their voices to use their grief as a source of strength to help save other people. that would start with a vote on bipartisan legislation by congressman mike thompson, congressman peter king, and 180 sponsors to expand and strengthen our background checks. no one knows better than the people of newtown, men, women, mothers, fathers, brothers, and
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sisters who lost their loved ones on december 14, 2012. since that dark day, the families of newtown and their supporters have turned their sorrow into strength, pain into perseverance, unspeakable loss into unmatched courage and determination to carry on. yesterday these mothers and fathers met with both republican and democratic leaders, yet they had come with no partisan agenda. they come as americans who wish to spare their fellow parents and family members the mourning, fear, and terror they felt six months ago. their message is clear, honor the memories of the little children, of these educators by helping to ensure no other family is forced to endure such an unimaginable tragedy. it had been unimaginable. now we have seen it. now our task is plain. we must restore confidence in the safety of our communities
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by taking clear, effective steps to prevent gun violence in our schools, homes, and neighborhoods. i just read the names and showed the pictures of a few, of a few of the people who -- whose lives were lost that day. for them and for others and lives we want to save, again i mention the bipartisan thompson-king, king-thompson legislation. that means that using this anniversary certainly to memorialize the victims of newtown, but also answer the call of their families to give gun violence prevention legislation a vote in the congress of the united states. six months ago in newtown, a lone gunman took the lives of 26 americans. we all know that. emblazoned in our minds and souls. since then nearly 5,000 more americans have fallen victim to
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gun violence. 5,000, mr. speaker. if now in congress we must summon the courage to act. we must take inspiration from the courage of the newtown families, from the courage it has taken to turn their grief into action. we must heed the loving words of the sandy hook promise, our hearts are broken. our spirit is not. as we mark this anniversary, we must uphold our most basic responsibility. the oath of office, to protect and defend, protect and defend the constitution and to protect and defend the people of the united states. mr. speaker, i thank our colleague, congresswoman esty, and our colleague, congressman mike thompson, for their leadership in bringing us together this morning so that we cannot only remember but that we can have the courage to act. with that i yield.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, for five minutes. mr. hoyer: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: i rise to join the eader t i rise to join congresswoman esty and congressman thompson in recognizing this sad anniversary. mr. speaker, it is with sadness that we mark the six-month anniversary, tomorrow, of the tragic shooting at sandy hook elementary school in newtown. on that day as has been repeated and must be remembered, americans were united in shock and grief at the senseless murder by a crazed gunman of 26 innocent people. 20 innocent first graders and six courageous school staff
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members who took -- tried to protect them and help save the lives of others. since that day approximately 4,500, the leader mentioned 5,000, but a figure in excess of 4,500 americans have died as a result of gun violence, according to the newtown action alliance. mr. speaker, this is not just a tragedy. it is a epidemic. one that congress has a moral responsibility to address. when nine out of 10 americans support stricter background checks to keep dangerous guns out of the hands of criminals, and those with mental illness, there is no reason why congress shouldn't be able to take swift and decisive action to enact tougher protections.
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i was deeply disappointed, mr. speaker, that the senate failed to move forward with legislation to protect americans from gun violence by enacting effective background checks that safeguard the constitutional rights of responsible owners and safeguard americans. the american people are demanding action, and the house now has a chance to succeed where the senate failed. demonstrating that commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence can indeed command bipartisan support. democratic representative mike thompson of california, who chairs the house democratic task force on gun violence, and my friend, republican representative peter king of new york, have joined together to introduce legislation in this chamber similar to that which was blocked in the senate. there is not a single provision
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in their bill that should be worrisome to those concerned about our long-standing tradition of protecting second amendment rights. not a single provision. it will help us keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous and mentally unstable individuals likely to do harm to others or themselves. will they keep all of us safe all the time? it will not. we know that. it that is the tragic fact of life. but will it help? it will. and if we can help, should we? and the answer is an emphatic yes. this proposal contains commonsense proposals that i strongly support and that most americans have supported as well. congress has the opportunity to get this right by considering the thompson-king legislation in the house and senate, and get to the senate for consideration. i congratulate congresswoman esty in particular, as well as
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congressman thompson, for their leadership and efforts in this regard. after the backlash, many senators received for opposing expanded background checks, i suspect that a number may be ready to reconsider. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to come together as representative thompson and king have done to advance this bipartisan solution to this pressing challenge facing our nation, not just for congress, but every american. it should not take, it must not take another tragedy such as newtown for us to act. we have a responsibility to keep our neighborhoods and our schools safe, and i urge speaker boehner and majority leader cantor to allow this bill to come to the floor for a
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vote. the speaker often says he wants to allow the house to work its will. that's why the people of newtown sent congresswoman esty to congress. that's why the people of my district and every district represented in this house, people sent from -- them here to vote on policies. policies to make their country better. policies to make their country more safe. the memories of those two, the memories of those teachers, the memories of those 26, yes, the memories of those 4,500 plus who since the newtown tragedy have lost their lives to gun violence, their memory, mr. speaker, demands and deserves action by their representatives. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the
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gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. esty, for five minutes. ms. esty: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, six months ago tomorrow the town of newtown experienced unimaginable tragedy and unparalleled loss. that loss, the painful loss of sons and daughters, spouses, siblings, and friends is still very raw and will always run very deep for the people of newtown. and yet in the face of that unimaginable tragedy, on that day and on the days since, this small community that has been through so much has inspired our nation with tremendous courage and resilience. americans have been inspired by the six brave educators who gave their very lives to defend
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their -- and protect their students. americans have been inspired by the brave first responders who arrived on the scene to save others and live with the trauma of what they saw that day. americans have been inspired by the sandy hook families who, despite living with the pain that one can only begin to imagine, have responded to loss not with anger or hate, but with unbelievable love, strength, and courage. they have taken their call to action to hartford where a comprehensive set of commonsense gun laws passed with bipartisan support. they have taken the call to action to state capitals around this country, and they have taken that call to action here in washington. but here they faced inexplicable political cowardess, in the six months since that terrible day, since we lost 26 precious lives in new town, nearly 4,800 mernts
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have also lost their lives to gun violence. during that same time this house has not held a single vote on commonsense gun reform to reduce and prevent gun violence. not even enhanced criminal background checks. 46 senators brought an up or down vote on enhanced background checks. this is a reform that the families and members of the newtown community have asked our elected leaders to support. it is a reform supported by over 90% of the american people , and it is shameful that we have not yet had a chance to vote. and yet in spite of that obstruction and misinformation, these families and this community have refused to give up. on tuesday, i was honored to again meet with several of the newtown families as they traveled here to continue to lead the push for commonsense honored that 'm
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several members that have community of the newtown alliance are with us here in the gallery today. in meeting with the families i was given pictures of their loved ones that they have been handing out to elected officials from across the country. this photo of school psychologist mary sherlock reads, one of six educators who on december 14 became first responders equipped with just their lives, can you show the same courage with your vote? . this photo on this card -- sorry -- we need to make sure with dylan card hochuli. stand -- dylan hockley. stand up for change. here is a picture of dylan hockley. the picture of 6-year-old benjamin wheeler asks, what is worth doing?
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mr. speaker, these words, these faces, these lives mark the call to action for newtown. they mark the call to action in hartford and aurora, chicago and santa monica and every community torn apart by gun violence. and the sad truth is that this congress has not met this call to action. this congress has not shown the courage to pass commonsense gun reforms. but the good news is that it is not too late for this congress to do better. and now is the time. we must do it for mary. we must do better for dylan. we must do better for benjamin and for charlotte, for daniel and olivia, for joe is he a phone, for anna and for madeline, for kathryn and chase and jesse, for james, for grace and for emily. for jack, for noah and for
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caroline, for jessica, for allison, for rachel, dawn and ann marie, for lauren and victoria. we can and we must do better. these families cannot forget and will not give up. neither can we. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: members are asked not to refer to occupants in the gallery. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, for those serving our country in uniform, transitioning to civilian life can be a stressful process, especially when the transition is involuntary or unexpected. currently, the transitional ystem's management program, or tamp, offers 180 days of health
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care coverage for certain service members transitioning to civilian until employment can be secured outside the service. in many instances, traumatic brain injury symptoms do not appear until eight to 10 months after deployment, and it is important that these individuals have mental health care access during that time. this week during the debate over the national defense authorization act, i've offered two amendments, one which would extend the tamp coverage for service members for an additional 180 days for any treatment provided through telemedicine. through the expansion of telemedicine we can offer greater access to health care while lowering the costs. it's time we fully utilize these new technologies which is why i encourage my colleagues to support this amendment, this commonsense zero cost reform will help those who serve our country transition to civilian
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life without unnecessary burden or undue delay and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. larson, for five minutes. mr. larson: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to associate myself with the remark of my dear colleague from connecticut, elizabeth esty, who's done such a remarkable job in representing that district and especially the families of newtown, connecticut, in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy. now, mr. speaker, the time for us to act is long overdue. the hard truth for the united states congress is, as
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congressman mike thompson pointed out, that since newtown 5,000 americans have lost their lives at the point of a gun. 5,000 americans since newtown. the united states congress has the responsibility to act and do its constitutionally get this esire to bill passed. now, whether you believe this is the correct course of action or not, as the president said in his state of the union message, you still have a responsibility to vote. this is a democracy. every day that we delay a vote
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on this bipartisan bill, .ongress is complicit ngress is complicit in the deaths of those american action as o wait for more s sits by as 5,000 of a s die at the point gun. i commend the families of ewtown and the whole world was heartened. mark barredin stepped out into the rows garden with the president of the united states and reiterated a phrase that has held them all together that their hearts are broken along
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with those of the entire world as we looked on as this tragedy, but their spirit is not and they are undaunted in their determination, driven by the memories of those teachers nd administrators and students who died so tragically. they -- they, both students and teachers were willing to stand in the way of violence, and the united states congress can't do its constitutionally responsibility and stand up and vote? all of us watched as the united states senate, with families in the gallery, voting on
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background checks that 91% of the american people agree with voted it down. no teacher in america could explain the next day how the . te was 54-46 and it lost citizens all across this country take heed. do not give up. continue to fight this fight. fight what's wrong with congress, about not taking votes when they should and about a system in the senate where a majority prevails and a vote goes down because of the cloture rule, an arbitrary rule in the united states senate. the outrage has got to start outside of this building because here in this building, people remain complicit and the acts will only continue to take place if congress does not take action. i yield back my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. barber, for five minutes. mr. barber: thank you, mr. speaker. tomorrow we observe the sixth month anniversary of the senseless and tragic murders at sandy hook elementary school. we will never forget what happened in newtown, connecticut, on december 14, 2012, just as we'll never forget what happened in tucson, in oak creek, virginia tech, portland, milwaukee and columbine. and as we remember the precious lives lost, we must also renew our determination to work together to make sure that such a tragedy never happens again. as a survivor of the tucson shooting that took place on anuary 8, 2011, as the
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grandfather of children the same age as those who were slaughtered in newtown, and as a member of congress, i'm committed to taking the reasonable action to make sure that we prevent future deaths and injuries from such mass shootings. after the awful shooting and deaths in newtown, the sunday following i was reading a newspaper about the tragedy and i saw a photograph of one of the children that was killed and as i looked at that photograph of this little 6-year-old girl looking back at me from that page with my granddaughter the same age, i have to tell you that i sobbed along with my wife. i think no grandparent and no parent in this country could have had any other reaction. we must take action here to
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make sure these mass shootings never occur again. while there is no single answer to preventing mass shootings, we do know some things. we know, for example, that untreated or undiagnosed serious mental illness has been a factor in many of these tragedies. it's important to note as we say this that more than 95% of people with a mental illness never will commit a violent act. they're far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. the young man who killed six people in tucson and wounded 13 of us had displayed symptoms of mental illness for many, many months before the tragedy, and he never received either a diagnosis or treatment. he ended up getting a diagnosis and treatment when he was imprisoned. i believe this and other mass shootings could have been averted if the public was more
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aware of the indications and symptoms of mental illness and how to get help. we must do more to reduce the stigma of surrounding mental illness. we must invest in the early identification of mental illness and treatment programs. 60% of people living in this country with mental illness are not receiving the care they need. we must do better. it is clear we must expand mental health services and awareness for 100% of the individuals with mental illness in the country. that's one of the reasons i introduced the mental health first aid act earlier this year with strong bipartisan support. this legislation would provide training to help first responders, educators, students, the general public how to identify and respond to signs of mental illness. this is just but one of many actions. you've heard of -- from other speakers before me today. there are many things we can and must do but congress must act. i call on my colleagues on both
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sides of the aisle to stand with me and the families of newtown and of tucson and all the other places where there have been mass tragedies, shooting tragedies in the last two years and take action. we must act. we must do it now. the families of newtown, oak creek, aurora, tucson and across this nation are waiting for our answer. will we answer? i hope we will do it and do it soon. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for four minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday in the budget committee hearing, we had secretary hagel and joint chief of staff demp see walk us -- dempsey walk us through the impossible position that the department of defense has been placed in. now, i'll be the first to admit, and i think they would
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-- in fact they said that as much in the hearing -- that there are areas of opportunity for additional savings and the department of defense can itself do a better job. and when you have 20 -- when you have almost half of the rld's military spending by the united states, even though we're only 5% of the population and less than a quarter of the world's economic might, we can and should be able to squeeze more value. but the problem is not so much that the department of defense isn't willing to come forward with changes that need to be too great a part of this problem is congress itself. they have proposed from the department of defense that we actually close bases, that we
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reform compensation and health care, that we don't force weapon systems on the department of defense that the military doesn't want or need. these are things that congress gets weak in the knees. it's time for us to step up and keep -- to make sure that we are having the world's most powerful military but that we are squeezing more value out of it. . one critical area that needs greater attention deals with the nuclear deterrent. we have far more nuclear weapons than we ever want, need, or could use. it's been 68 years since the united states used a nuclear weapon in war, and no matter what you do in terms of deterrence, there's no question we don't have to blow the world up hundreds of times over to have that deterrent work.
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yet sadly we are poised to spend almost 3/4 of a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. the administration was forced by former senator kyl, a concession from the start treaty, to invest even more in weapons modernization. we need to step up and change that. there are other details that need attention. when the military looked at a proposal to streamline the p.x. operation, where military families shop, there was a proposal by major retailers to provide exactly the same service, in many cases equally convenient, saving a billion dollars. yet the political pushback was such that they went ahead and turned away. now, dealing with things like
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military bans and the p.x. and nascar sponsorship are appropriate, but that's rounding error. those are small items. we need to deal with reforming the military, to deal with the new threats and challenges that are more serious and immediate, and largely impervious to the major military footprint we've got. we need to start now in partnership with the department of defense to reduce the footprint, to restructure the force, and reform pay and benefits. we were told yesterday that we can either reform tricare over the next five years or we'll ve 25,000 more troops to lay out. -- lay off. these proposals are stark, but they are immediate and they are real and we should take advantage of them. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, for four minutes. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. chairman. i come before the house today
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to talk a little bit about the food stamp program. i want to talk about it because it is proposed in the farm bill that we'll be talking about soon that there will be a $20 billion cut from the program. now, i just thought that i would come before the house today, mr. speaker, to talk about the realistic implications for regular people, and maybe even to try to stand against some of the misconceptions that people may have about the food stamp program. this monday, last monday, i was in my district and nearby there in st. paul and sat down with a member of our neighbors and friends and colleagues to talk about food stamp program, and we had three groups of people who were talking to us. one was a group of people who are using the food stamp
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program. one of them was a senior itizen, and she was working. she was early 60's, got sick. couldn't work anymore. and was hoping to get to the age where she could retire, and get her social security. get other benefits, but she wasn't there yet. she got sick before she did, and she needed the food stamp program. personally as a tax paying american i got no problem helping this wonderful lady meet her food needs. another was a young mom, actually she didn't have any money for childcare, so she brought her baby to the meeting who was across her shoulder in sort of a wrap, and this young mom explained how she tried to get the best options for her baby. wanted to get back to work, but while she was in the middle of trying to find work, needed to have good nutrition for her child.
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we also talked with a person who was a young adult, 19-year-old guy, didn't get any food stamps until he passed out one day because he hadn't been eating. and then we talked to a person who was not a food stamp recipient but who was a health care professional. she explained that the food stamp program was essential for good health because she had had a number of people, talked about one woman in particular named mirry, who was complaining -- mary, who was complaining -- not taking her medication. she said you're not traching your medication. she said it hurt her stomach. when the doc talked to her more, we found out she wasn't eating. so the medication was sitting on her empty stomach. when she got some food in her stomach, she was able to take her medication and be in compliance and stay well so that she could stay out of the emergency room. we talk with these folks. then we talk with people from
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the faith community, jewish community, christian community, and catholic community and all of them said that, look, we do a lot of food aid. we are trying to make sure that folks have enough to eat. but the government stepsway from nutrition assistance then that's going to leave a bigger vote for us. they are talking about how their food shelves are already being used a lot and struggling to meet the needs of the folks who came to them. at the end of the day they said, look, we are not going to be able to step in when the government steps out. so the end of the conversation was clear to me that aside from statistics, aside from all the numbers, there is a human face on the food stamp program and the cuts that have been proposed will be devastating. let me just tell you this, mr. speaker. if there was a program which said that it would improve children's math and reading
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scores, it would prevent diabetes, it would contribute to healthy babies with fewer developmental problems, it would decrease health care costs and lower the poverty rate, would you support it? that's the food stamp program. it needs to be supported. i thank you. yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess unti
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>> federal highway administrator is teafing this morning as is the undersecretary for transportation on a new report by the american society of civil engineers which says that one in nine of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient with the currentage of 42 years old. the hearing by the senate appropriations subcommittee on transportation got under way about 45 minutes ago. we'll take you there live until the house comes back in at noon here on c-span. >> the coast guard used to be a part of the department of transportation. it's now part of the department of homeland security. one of the coast guard's primary legislative mandates is to ensure that they maintain as many navigable waterways as they can for boats as large a size they can. this can often be a conflict that we have in terms of we are responsible for building bridges, building them quickly
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and building them in the most cost-effective way possible. those two-man dates can often be in conflict. i think one thing we discovered around the country is we ran a lot of conflict on bridge building projects. i can think of one in senator murray's state. one of the things we have done, administrator menendez sent one of his top engineers to be embedded, he can talk about this, with the army corps to try and help untangle what are some pretty deep-seated and complicated holeups on some of these projects. -- holdups on some of these projects. >> let me reiterate because you weren't here when i said this. i used to be a state d.o.t. director in arizona. i have been on the delivery end. one of the frustrations -- >> you understand the statement about -- again i'm not being argumentive i don't know how long the average major project takes now, but it's many years. and many of those years are involved with this process.
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i think we all agree, and i know that you -- if -- your state is very different than my state, you have been very frustrated with the process, and unless something has changed dramatically, which i don't think it has, yet this law would help change it significantly, it's still taking a very, very long time in your state to get things done. >> we have implemented since i have been here an innovation initiative. we call it everyday counts. my goal under everyday counts was to cut project delivery by half. and then to also utilize technology and innovation to move our delivery process forward. if you look at what happened within map 21, you-all provided some very good directives for us to implement, to address the issue you are talking about. for example, you have once again provided the option for states to actually take
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responsibility for the nepa process. california did it and the last time we checked i believe they were saying they have actually through a few projects they have done under that process, they have saved anywhere between 18 to 21 months. texas we are working with very closely, we believe they'll be the next state to come onboard with that concept. so we are doing everything we can to address the exactly what you are talking about. we need to streamline the delivery process and maintain the environmental protections that are important for all of us. i do want to say, going back to hat poly-- polywas talking about, the rapid response team, bringing those federal agencies together, we were able to get the permit for the tappan zee bridge in new york in less than a year. that could never have happened if we had done it the normal process as you are describing. we are doing everything we can. president obama has issued about three executive orders on
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permitting project deliverry, and eliminating rules and regulations that inhibit the delivery process for infrastructure. so we are doing everything we can to implement not only what you directed us to do underman -- under map-21 but innovation to move the projects forward. >> thank you. could we as a committee -- i really do think that's -- this is important. a ld we ask that we have report on meeting the deadlines of map-21 which are in the bill in the sense of the reforms? >> i will explore my staff and see the best way of getting that information. >> like i say, we are concentrating on bridges and things. when you look at the reports, the infrastructure is terrible throughout the country. and yet with the fiscal crisis, we simply have to identify ways
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that i think we all agree on that can lessen the cost as we go forward. this is important. again i'd just like to know nd of the implementation dates of the law and just making sure that we are getting that done. if we need to be of help in getting that sorted out, what can we do as a committee to help you get the information you need or the resources to get it done. thank you. >> i appreciate that request very much. speaking of the bridge you were just speaking about, in terms of running into the coast guard and corps after a very long time, the i-5 bridge, part that have same corridor, that the bridge went down on, is the i-5 span that goes over the columbia river, between vancouver, washington, and portland, oregon. the columbia river crossing project. i know you are familiar with
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it. we call it the crc out there. i started discussing this with former senator hatfield, republican from oregon, more than 20 years ago. i understand, senator boozman, it takes a long time to get things done. it is a critical piece of infrastructure on the i-5 corridor, needs to be replaced. it's an old bridge. it is a major bottleneck along that corridor. and it needs to be shored up for a lot of different reasons. we look at the bridge north of it in scadget and see what happens and the dynamics that would occur on that corridor are just incredibly difficult o think about. secretary, i just want to scurks what would a bridge collapse like the one on the i-5 corridor between two very large cities, vancouver and portland, occur on the regional economy if that were to collapse because we didn't get it done? >> clearly, chairman murray, i think the results there would
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be catastrophic and something i think we fear. i do want to reiterate what administrator menendez said. we have the tragedy of the bridge but in general we have worked closely with states to do -- one thing i think in part because it was some of the good guidance of g.a.o. and good work over the years with the states, we have really improved year by year our bridge inspection regime. obviously sometimes accidents do happen, but i think particularly on big important crossings like that would have a fuge effect on the economy and commuting times and you name it. we are engaged in pretty rigorous oversight and inspection. but clearly this is what we are seeing in the tiger programs. major bridge programs, major projects that have what we would consider to be national significance coming to us wanting federal assistance. >> this is clearly a project that we don't want to be shut down because one of those maintenances says no more. we have been working on it for a very long time. it's very complex.
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it's two different states. two different cities. very different communities. very complex. we have now spent more than a decade just working to secure the state and federal funds. we have conducted scores of reviews. working very hard to meet all the permit requirements. and i -- federal government has really done its part. it's been remarkable on the level of federal funds and commitment. to this project and the state of oregon has done their part. we are now waiting on state legislators in my state, olympia, to do their share. madam secretary, can you talk about the need for washington state legislators to step up at this time? >> i think chairman murray, you know our own secretary has been out a couple of times to visit with your legislators. i know administrator menendez has been there and the administrator rogoff. they have conveyed a message about what an important project we think it is. we have put a lot of federal resources in and put a lot of time and effort into working
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through what were some very -- no question, complicated environmental and operational issues. we hope to continue partnership with you all and members of your legislature. >> working very hard on that. mr. hurt, g.a.o. has placed funding the nation's service transportation system on its list of high-risk areas. that list also includes things like acquiring defense weapons systems, managing information on terrorism, and protecting federal computer systems against cyberattacks. can you tell us why g.a.o. sentence the financing of federal transportation programs to be as critical to our country as those issues? >> well, i think it's been -- one of the recurring themes i picked up through the hearing today and the debate about infrastructure is the need to make investments now for infrastructure, some of which is aging, some of which is the bridge crossing you were just
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discussing in washington state. it's been a problem for 20 years. it takes time to get these prioritized. it takes time to get them funded. then to get them built. to us we see also the competition that the highway trust fund faces with general revenues. you are always looking for additional revenue source and offset things that have nature. because of that we felt that it rose to the prominence of putting it on the high-risk list as a national priority. the comptroller general felt strongly about that. >> i wanted to ask you, before the skagett river bridge collapsed, it was not scheduled for replacement for years to come. other bridges in our state were considered a much higher priority for significant remares and even replacement. i'm interested in asking you how states prioritize their work. if the i-5 bridge over the river was not high on the priority list, it's now collapsed, then what kinds of conditions can we expect to
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find on bridges that do make it to the top of the list for significant overhauls? >> let me try and run briefly through the prioritization process that is in place. in fact under map-21 with the implementation of performance management concepts, we believe there actually is more flexibility built in for the states to help make those decisions. however, we as i have advised all of our personnel. even though we do support the effort that are under way, we don't make final decision, that's left up to local, state, and governments. we do have an influence to play in how they prioritize. we don't make final selection, but it's important, again -- i believe -- again maybe it's part of my background, that the decisions that are made at the frontline do account for a lot of the issues that -- and the factors that you know are
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happening within your state. it would be very difficult, and i have been in that position, to have somebody in washington, d.c., try to establish a priority for the state of washington. i believe the decisionmakers with all the bridge management systems that are in place and that we promote, a lot of the procedures that are in place in terms of the actual inspections of bridges, and that level of information really, it's all information that is used to derive at a priority. we also at the federal level have a national bridge inventory that is a snapshot, once a year, that we compile all the bridge information, inspection information from all the states. but again that's only a snapshot. a lot of the information that is kept at the state level is in addition to what's in the bridge inventory. i think taking all of that information together plus the oversight that we provide on
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the bridge inspections and the bridge program overall helps the states determine what are the best priorities for them at the state level. >> the federal-aid highway program is based on the principle that states own and operate the national highway system. that means even though the federal government provides funding for capital programs, the states set their own priorities for these. secretary, how can we make sure the federal funds address problems along our most critical transportation corridors such as our interstate roads? >> i think, chairman murry, that's one of the fundamental challenges -- murray, that's one of the fundamental challenges that faces our transportation. something that g.a.o. has written extensively and thoughtfully on. we have the creative intention you hear here. the federal government wants to put their funding, and congress wants to put their policies on work but there is a system largely state owned. and as administrator menendez
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says we try to work with states and let them set their priorities because we can't dictate everything out of washington. that wouldn't work. it is a fundamental tension in our system. i think, again, as we have talked about today, map-21, will give us a great opportunity to achieve some consensus throughout the transportation community, the federal government working with states and localities on how we can improve performance and how we can take what are increasingly scarce federal dollars and put them towards national priorities and use data to help us figure out what those priorities will be. it will always be in the transportation space, it will be a process where a lot of stakeholders have to be brought along. we are not going to be heavy-handed at the federal level, but congress has clearly given us a mandate to go out and work with our stakeholders and try and transition to a more performance-based system. we are very excited. we think it's a great challenge. we look forward to working with our partners to try and make sure we are putting our investments where they are most needed. critical bridges and highways
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and transit systems around the country. >> senator boostman. -- senator boozman. >> thank you. i know this is difficult, i would like to start with you, , you rr, in your report found that the d.o.t.'s program oversight has generally been process oriented rather than outcome oriented. map-21, however required d.o.t. to transition to a goal oriented performance based approach for highway programs. the g.a.o. noted they face institutional barriers implementing these performance-based programs. that's what miss trotenberg was alluding to, the fact we have states involved, congressmen involved. do you believe that d.o.t. is now prepared to make the transition? and when should congress expect
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results? why don't we start with you mr. herr, if you could comment and director nendez and trottenberg, if you could comment on that. as you said, ms. trottenberg, in relation, you could come in as you see it from the outside, but if you would comment on the problems doing that. i think that would be helpful. >> sure. >> i think it is something we need to get done. >> thanks for the question. as discussed here we think map-21 offers an important framework for the transition at d.o.t. at this point there are still timelines made in the law for implementation of some of the performance measures and things like that. that said, it's been reflected in the discussion, the relationship between d.o.t. and the states and states setting their priorities is one where it's going to require a different approach in the sense there will be deadlines that will be missed at the state
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level. there will be goals that will be missed. and how d.o.t. and the federal government comes back and says, hey, it's time to shift reforces -- resources over because this particular target hasn't been met, is a change in i think the culture of how this program has been operated over the years. we found some instances looking at the emergency relief program where there were files and forms that just really, some of the basic principles that had been laid out in the regs weren't being followed. it wept back, there were recovery of funds in that case, about $230 million. i think that -- changing how that is done, through the law, is an important framework. then in some way the devil will be in the details in terms of how that all works out. it will take -- i'm sure there will be hard conversations that have to be had if some of these targets begin to be missed. >> director menendez. dez. men
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>> bhi walked into the issue of performance management, i thought i had an idea -- have a professional opinion and concepts, as we started reaching out to a lot of the stakeholders, and a lot of the community, very clearly it became very complex, very quickly. so we are going to have to continue working on this. we do have the schedule. we'll share that with you on the performance management. i think there's also one other element within map-21 -- >> ask i ask one thing. i don't mean to interrupt. as an old state director, what -- give me an example of some of tension that you would have in the sense of performance. >> i think -- not to speak on behalf of state d.o.t.s. i'll provide my experience. i think one of the issues that you traditionally find a level of concern is when you are using measures, immediately after we report, let's say, the first year of measures, you as
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a state will be compared to statewide. and that has been a concern for a lot of states. are we going to use performance management to actually improve the decisionmaking process within states? or to compare states. that has been a big concern. so we'll work on that. i think our objective is really to make better decisions, to make informed decisions, and invest limited resources wisely. i think that's what all of us want to do as a nation. so that's just one example of some of the issues that we will be facing. i did want to mention that within map-21 there is a provision with respect to bridges that if 10% or more of structurally deficient bridges, the deck area, for three years in a row exceeds 10%, then there is a way for us to actually get the states to take funding from one program and really focus it on those issues. so you did give us a little bit of provision in there to help us really move things forward
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in this regard. but it is a very complex issue. we have had outreach with over 10,000 stakeholders in the past eight months. and we are going to continue to work on that. >> ms. trottenberg? >> as administrator mendez said, in map 21 we tallied it up and congress gave us 100 separate mandates to be implemented over a two-year period, turns into 50 or 60 rule makings. we get a lot of rule makings from congress. on the performance front we got nine different sets of rule makings not just on highway side but transit and roadway safety. we are, again, as administrator mendez points out, working with state d.o.t.'s, m.p.o.'s, and the feedback we are getting i could say is all over the map. i take washington d.o.t., which i think is real leader in performance measure. they track a loft measures.
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they are excited about moving in this way. they are already starting to target dollars where they'll get the best performance. some other d.o.t.'s, perhaps in states where they are in budgetary difficulties, they don't want to track anything. they already feel they don't have the funds they need to keep their program up and running. they are very concerned about is d.o.t. going to give them with these rule makings, complicated new regime of things to track? we are walking a fine line there. we want to move everybody from where they are to a more performance based system. as victor says we have to be careful. every state is not in the same place. that's a challenge. >> that's a good discussion. very helpful, thank you. thank you, madame chair. >> thank you. i wanted to go back to what happened on the skaget river bridge in my state. like a loft trucks that travel on our roads and bridges, the truck that hit that bridge was carrying an oversized load. when trucking companies move oversized loads, they have to get a special permit from the state government.
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administrator mendez, can you tell me what the federal role is in the permitting process? >> you may have raise add couple issues there. one is on the weight issue and one the height issue. on weight issues, basically the states provide the permits for both. specifically -- specific to the height issues, we administer and publish the manual on uniform traffic control devices. mutcd for short. this is a document that basically provides standards for devices on streets, highways, and bicycle trails that are opened to the public. what we provide through there as a standard is that low clearance signs, warning signs must be provided when a clearance is less than 12 inches above the state statutory vehicle height. now, the complication there is
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that every state may have different maximum vehicle heights. if you are a trucker going through various states, you have to be on the look out -- >> which you do on the i-5 door door. >> yes, you do. those are the things we have to be -- that's our role to ensure that through the mutcd we provide that level of oversight and direction. now, it's up to the individual states to actually execute the direction. and so on this particular -- on the skaget river bridge incident, i know ntsb is still reviewing that. i do know they have a preliminary report on their website that provides some preliminary information. we are going to wait until the end of their conclusions to see what next steps we need to take. >> or if there are any recommendations on that? >> that's correct. >> there is a lot of new technologies that could make it easier to access data for your truck driver going through different places with differ
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riggs. -- rigs. those technologies could help make bridge clearances more accessible to highway users. has the department looked at any of those new technologies about how they could help create some better safety traffic to prevent future accidents like we had in washington state? >> actually, just this past march we started a research project with technology to get to the exact issue you are talking about. i don't know if we are talking about the same technologies here. >> describe it to me. >> my understanding is that it's a technology that will help us identify -- i don't know the specific technology -- identify height clearances or openings i think is the way it's framed, as trucks move through the bridges. in this case or tunnels for that matter. so we are looking at the technology side to see if there is a solution there. >> ok. this has been a very helpful hearing.
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certainly what happened at home in washington state on the skaget river bridge has been an eye opener for everyone in my state, but as we have talked about here, this is not a unique challenge. there are many, many bridges in my state and across the country, certainly you have all talked about the funding challenge as we try to replace this aging infrastructure and we will be looking very seriously at that in this committee as we move forward on the plopingses process -- appropriations process. i appreciate you coming here. this committee will hold the record open for one week for additional questions and look forward to your comments on that. again thank you to all of you for participating in that. the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> the transportation subcommittee and appropriations heard about the nation's infrastructure. the american society of civil engineers report card says one in nine of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient. you can watch all of that hearing today on our website at c-span.org. a live look at the u.s. capitol where the senate is in. the house will gavel back in for legislative work at noon eastern today. continuing work on the 2014 defense authorization act. over 170 amendments filed on the bill.
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and they'll begin debate shortly after noon. we'll have it for you live here on c-span. in the me time, conversation from this morning's "washington journal" on the national security agency's surveillance programs and the debate in congress whether those programs should be curtailed. host: wanted to introduce you to representative jim himes, democrat from connecticut and member of the house intelligence committee. your meeting with general alexander tay. what's your first question to him? guest: probably my first question will be how effective has this program been? where the n.s.a. is gathering the phone records of every single american, of mine, yours, everybody watching. i am very uncomfortable with that. we have had a tra designation in this country for 240 years, they can go after that information on you provided they have reason to believe you were involved in something nefarious. now we have switched over to gathering information on all americans. that troubles me. i want know what the benefits
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are. i have not heard a convincing argument there are terrorism investigations that depend on the government having this information on you, me, and everybody watching. host: is there a general dealing in the house right now? guest: i was in a classified briefing with most of the congress, with a variety of officials the day before yesterday. i will tell you there is a lot of concern. obviously there is different opinions in there. there are those who believe that this is worth doing if they can help us catch a terrorist here and there. there are a lot of people who say, i trust this administration and these people. general alexander is a fine man , but what about the next guy? how do i know 10 years from now there is not some government bureaucrat who now knows i'm a republican, presbyterian, maybe i got a h.i.v. test, why were you calling this occupy wall street group? that's a troubling thought. host: representative himes, has congress done its due diligence when it comes to these programs? >> i don't think so. it's a little hard to know where the system broke down.
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the fact of the matter is that very few members of congress knew about this. and i'm not blaming necessarily the n.s.a. or c.i.a. for this because they did, in fact, brief the intelligence committees in both the senate and house on these programs, and they made available the information. but that wasn't broadly advertised to people. i would tell you the vast majority of members of congress were unaware of these programs. host: what was their reaction to people who weren't aware? like you were. guest: again the intelligence officials have said we told the committees. what the committees do with our telling them is your business. i'm not sure that's a satisfactory answer. i'm not necessarily blaming the intelligence community on that. they did brief the committees. it's more about the flow of information that the committees have to the broader congress as a whole host: do you feel comfortable with the briefings you are get interesting the n.s.a., c.i.a., whoever it might be that you are getting full and complete and relevant information? guest: the four months i have been on the intelligence committee i have gotten to know the leadership of our
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intelligence community and the people who work for them. i will tell you that despite my misgivings about the nature of this program, these are some of the most dedicated, intensely focused, thoughtful about the constitution people i have met in my service here, but it's a little bit of a hard question to answer. i have no reason to believe we are not -- these agencies are not being fully honest with the intelligence committee. sometimes we don't know the questions to ask. none of us are intelligence professionals. the other thing i will tell you like a lot of people i was very troubled by the director of national intelligence's answer to senator wyden in that hearing in which he flatly denied that this was occurring. i understand there was questions about what he could say to avoid exposing a classified program in public, but i would tell you that saying the opposite of what he knew to be true was probably from the standpoint of a member of congress who has constitutional oversight obligations, probably the wrong path to take. host: you have oversight obligations, but i think i saw a quote by senator feinstein a
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while back that -- a couple days ago that said fisa has to be renewed by congress every three months. is that correct? do you vote on these programs every three months? >> no, it's not every three months. in the five years i have been doing this, i think there's been one or two votes on the patriot act, which is what gives the authorities. we can talk about that. i happen to believe the patriot act is way too broadly worded. the fisa act since i have been here four, five years has been re-authorized once or twice. it's not every three months. host: is the legislation, is that -- is it public? or is the legislation, is it secured? guest: the legislation itself is public. in other words, anybody can go to the patriot act and look at section 215, which says that the government has the right to ask for any -- here's the phrase, any tangible thing. that's pretty broad wording. so this is why i say, look, don't think there's any
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question that the intelligence community has broken the law here. i don't think they have. they are operating within laws that congress passed after 9/11 when people were scared and maybe really, really focused on making sure that what we had just seen doesn't happen again. to my way of thinking the right thing to do is for us to go back and say we stepped over the line. when we are collecting information on every single american, we stepped over the line, let's take these laws, the patriot act, and let's constrain them a little bit from what they were. host: representative jim himes is our guest. democrat from connecticut, member of the house intelligence committee. we are going to put the numbers up on the screen if you'd like to participate in our conversation this morning. 202-585-3881. 58 a-3882 for all others. can you send a tweet at c-span, wj is the twitter handle. mr. himes, approximately 00,000 contractors outside
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government employees have security clearances. has this been a matter of discussion in congress? guest: it has to a quiet extent. people talk about the growth of government. if you look over the last 10, 15 years government collectively has grown largely because we have built up a massive national security apparatus. i'm not saying that's bad. we live in a very dangerous world. when people talk about out-of-control government growth, they ought to know where it's concentrated. it raises issues. it raises the issues we have been discussing about whether the agencies are not overstepping their bounds. i happen to believe we have gone in that direction. it also raises other questions. if you got a million or whatever the number is, probably when you include the military, several million people with top secret security clearances, statistics tells us that one of those people is eventually going to do what happened last week. look, i have taken a pretty hard line. do i feel like the intelligence community has perhaps overstepped, i don't want to blame the intelligence
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community, they are operating within the law, but we collectively have overstepped our privacy rights. that does not mean that the one disgruntled individual or individual who individually thinks that the government has done something wrong, can do what this guy did, which is expose the united states to some very serious repercussions by blowing secrets. host: what kind of oversight does the congress have oferte fisa courts? guest: the fisa 40's -- courts are constitute bide an act of congress and i think the fisa courts are a good idea. they became really active in response to the concern and the very appropriate concern about warrantless wiretapping under the bush administration. so we said, ok, we want another branch of government, this is really key, because what i'm hearing from the executive, from the president and his people, don't worry. we've got this. our inspector generals, the justice department. we are looking at each other. our whole system is set up on checks and balances where other branches of government get to look in and say, no. we don't agree with what you
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are doing. having the fisa courts, who are judges, eminent judges, looking over the shoulder of the c.i.a. or f.b.i., i think that's a good idea. host: do members of congress who are not on the intel committees, are they a little miffed that 2.1 million people with top secret clearances know more than they do? guest: one of the good things that's going to come out of this i think my 434 colleagues will pay a little more attention to what's available to them. because i'm interested in this stuff and because i wanted to be on the intelligence committee, each year i have been here i said i would like to look at the classified intelligence budget. to do that you got to call the committee, set up an appointment, go sit in a secret room. you got to put your cell phones in a box. you have to work to make it happen. i suspect this experience is going to cause a lot of my colleagues to focus more closely. host: if you are interested in the fisa court issue, on sunday on the "washington journal," we'll be doing a segment on that. you can tune in on sunday.
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jim himes right now is our guest. democrat from connecticut. member of the intelligence committee. also the financial services committee. graduate of harvard. he's a rhodes scholar. he worked for goldman sachs for several years before coming over to congress, getting elected to congress. the first call from him comes from north carolina. whitney is in raleigh, democrat, hi. aller: hi. spy on americans, it took a brave whistleblower to give up his normal life to make politicians and the media acknowledge it. my question for you is, is congress going to wait for someone else to give up his life before you acknowledge that only exposes could have brought down world trade center building seven on 9/11. host: let's go to her referring to mr. snowden as a whistleblower. do you agree? guest: let's do that, peter. as somebody who is at the site of 9/11, i am really troubled about some of the allegations
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that are i think out there on the extreme. the definition of whistleblower is somebody who is blowing the whistle on a violation of the law. that's what a whistleblower is. there is no indication out there that anybody at n.s.a. or within the intelligence community was violating the law. so mr. snowden, whatever you may think of him, he's certainly provoked a discussion i think our society needs to have, is not a whistleblower. he is a leaker. now, again, there are people who break the law for good purpose. and to his credit he has said, i take responsibility. i would respect him more if he said i will take responsibility and i will agree willingly to suffer the consequences of my civil disobedience, which he has not done, he did break the law. and we can't have -- whatever you think about snowden, we cannot have a society where one individual, deep in c.i.a. or n.s.a. says i don't like what i'm saying. i'm going to blow the cover on this. you can imagine what the united states would look like. we would not be able to
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probably conduct any of the operations we conduct that have been conducted very successfully to degrade the terrorist organizations who, at this time, in pakistan and somalia are thinking about killing americans. that's at the end of the day not a way to operate. i think snowden will be appropriately prosecuted. i think he realizes that. he's not saying that he's not responsible. the right thing for him to do is to say, ok,dy this. i believe i did the right thing. i'll bear the consequences of my decision. host: bruce in baton rouge, louisiana, you're on with congressman himes. broke the law without a doubt. he broke it for a good reason like the representative said. our c.i.a. and lord knows how many other agencies, has killed so many people. you can't save everybody. you can't do it. on't even try.
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if you break the law for the right reason, shouldn't get prosecuted no matter what. wake up, america. guest: well, i disagree with two things that bruce said. one we should try to avoid having americans killed by terrorists. of course we have spent a lot of time, energy, money and a lot of people have given their lives in the service to our country to make that a that's a key responsibility of government to try to keep us safe. but bruce does make a point which is valuable, which is that sometimes people will break a law for a good reason. martin luther king, civil disobedience in the south in the 1960's. gandhi in india. they embrace the idea that laws are sometimes wrong. and therefore breaking them in a ethical sense, not a legal sense, is the right thing to do. that's why i said, look, if snowden is in that tradition, i
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don't happen to agree we can live in a society where one individual at an intelligence agency can decide they are going to blow these secrets, but if he believes that the right thing to do is do what gandhi or plsk had done i'm going to bear the consequences of my actions. the gentleman is right. sometimes people break laws for what they believe is the right reason. that doesn't mean they seek to escaint prosecution. host: how is this issue if vibrated with your constituents? is this one of the top things you are hearing from them? guest: it's a lot of concern. interestingly, peter, the answer is i don't -- this is new. i have been in d.c. the last three days. i don't have a really good finger on the pulse. i will tell you this it's generated less concern than i would personally hope. a lot of people say these are records you can get anyway. when i go online i give up all prifecy. i try to say two things to people. look, when you go on twitter and facebook and put that picture of the party you are at
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last night, you're right. there's no privacy there. but you don't have to be on facebook. you can agree with facebook and twitter when the terms of your participating are, but the government you can't do that. you don't have a right to say to the n.s.a. you don't get my phone records. here's the way i think about it. look, these phone records, as i have said, i don't think laws were broken here, but i'm troubled by it if for no other reason that old story about how you boil a frog. you put it in the cold water and turn up the heat and the frog doesn't realize it until the frog is boiling. this may be a little bit turning up the heat. what's next? front page today, collecting d.n.a. samples on americans. should the f.b.i. be allowed to collect the garbage of americans and store that? pretty soon you are living in a world where the intelligence agencies and law enforcements knows everything about us. that's not the america that was constituted 240 years ago or certainly the america we grew up in where we have an expectation of privacy. of knowing that the government doesn't know what we are doing. moment to moment.
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host: d-nice tweets in. guest: well, that's true. so in smith versus maryland, which was a case in the early 1970's, the courts ruled that meta data, who you called, how long you spoke, that americans don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy around that. that's why i think i said four our five times this morning that i don't believe that the intelligence community has violated the law in this case. to me it's more a question of -- that they are doing it to all americans. that's a huge leap for us, right? remember we have always had the tradition that if there is a suspicion, if there is reasonable doubt about you, by all means go through my garbage, tap my phones. if you think i'm involved in drug dealing or terrorism, by all means i'll support you. but every single america, again i don't think that this is the laws have been broken.
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i think we are taking one step too far and that we all need to ask ourselves what's next. is it d.n.a. data, collecting gash and, watching what we do day to day? it's a troubling thought. host: darell tweets in, why are members of congress that have access to the program six years running now cry that they didn't have time to understand the info? guest: we talked a little bit about this. the intelligence community did go to the intelligence committees of the senate and the house and talk about these programs. it appears the information did not go -- i'm on the intelligence committee. i have only been on it four months. i didn't know about these programs. that may be shame on them. it may be shame on me. i don't know where the fault lies. i will tell you that we have a system whereby the vast majority of members of congress were unaware of these programs. that may be their fault. but that is the fact. host: rich in centreville, virginia, republican line. representative himes, democrat of connecticut, our guest.
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caller: i just got some general comments. le public needs to be educated, and i wish they would educate them if you are familiar with the acronym, s.t.e., that basically is like foreign service employee, congress can limit the number of how many you have. people say we just want government employees with security clearance as needed they don't fund the number of employees that would be required so they limit the number of s.t.e.'s, thus requiring contractors. if you go to any government -- don't know the true percentage, if you go to government offices are you going to see a lot of contractors making up those number differences who often
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are doing the exact same thing as the government employee. lot are working buildings in the surrounding metro -- area just to get through the lobby you have to show your i.d. a lot of the i.d.'s, depending on the agency, departments you work for, are going to have a numerical number or maybe not, but have a chip on the card just to gain access to the regular lobby into your floor. host: rich, all that said, come to your conclusion. caller: the conclusion is, if you talk in generalities, a lot of the information can move people in different directions and they form an opinion. if we get more correct, thorough information initially put out, i think these numbers when you say millions of people, a lot of government employees only have secret clearances and they never even see anything. but it gets them to the floor where they work.
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then when they turn on their computer, the commuters -- computers are set to searn limit. maybe to secret. they may not be reading anything. we have to educate the public -- host: are you an f.t.e., contractor? do you have a clearance? caller: i retired two years ago. i have had tsfci. i only had access for that period of time when i needed it. but i'm now a contractor, a personal service contractor, with a t.s. clearance. host: what is a t.s. clearance? caller: t.s., top secret. people have to understand just because you have a t.s. clearance doesn't mean you see it. it gives you access as the need to know. i wish you have people on there who could educate not only this new congressman but others so they can basically judge the speakers who are providing the information that you have on their shows.
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host: thank you. guest: rich raises a whole bunch of questions. people ought to drive around in virginia outside of d.c. when you drive through arlington and fairfax and those areas, you see in the last 10 years class tower after glass tower has gone up. they all have initials on it saic, you never heard of. the growth in government, as i said before, has been in the national security and defense apparatus. it is not necessarily been with what rich calls the f.t.e.'s, contractors, private companies. it raises a host of issues. are we spending too much money? number two, what functions, are functions that only the government gets to do? we talked about this a lot over the years. men and women under arms. in places like iraq, contractors, acting like combat troops. it raises a whole host of issues. host: representative himes, we had an earlier caller who had a top secret clearance as well. mary. she was talking about the plosssess and the fact that -- process and the fact that she's
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getting a renewal on her clearance and it's being done by contractors. right now. are you having -- is there chatter up on capitol hill about the number of contractors and how these contractors got access to all these clearances and information? guest: sure there is. if nothing else there is this concern that an apparatus as big as our national security apparatus, as big as it has become, yes it's military people in uniform subject to one code of ethics. it's civilian, government employees subject to working for the government, then it's private sector people. that's a very complicated and large operation. and there is all sorts of possibilities for information to leak, for people -- you have to treat those people differently. if you are in the military and you are a uniformed officer, there is one set of accountability and things that can be done to you if you break the rules. if you are a contractor, what's the accountability? you can be fired. so, yeah, it's a very
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complicated issue. i think as americans become aware how big and complicated this national security apparatus is, we'll want to really understand, is it working? what are the down sides of it being so big and are there other ways to think about it? host: freelancer tweets in, do you think booze allen should be held libel for the damage done to national security by hiring the contractor edward snowden? i certainly thing that people like inspector generals and others need to look at how contractors are hiring people. what little i know about mr. snowden, high school dropout, apparently had difficulty in the variety of things he tried, including the military, we ought to look how they are made. and figure out if booze allen did something wrong here -- booz allen did something wrong. statistics alone would suggest you have a problem priment.
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i'm not sure the answer is to vilify booz allen. i do want to know what they did and whether they did it right. remember private manning, on trial right now for giving information to wiki leaks. he was a uniformed member of the military. i want to know about this. i'm not sure the answer here is vilifying a particular organization. host: thomas in ohio. democrat, thanks for holding. you are on with representative jim himes. caller: hi, representative. i just have a few comments. a little bit of history. in 1963, i believe it was, i college, and one of the upper classmen told me that if i was in mathematics i should be interested in the n.s.a. it was about six to seven years later, i believe, that they even acknowledged that the n.s.a. existed.
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then in the mid 1970's i was at a graduate school and i had about 30 graduate students in my engineering school that i got to know. about half of them were from the middle east, and absolutely none of them would ever talk in an unguarded way on the telephone. i don't -- this is not -- this has gone on for quite a while. and another thing -- >> both the house and senate intelligence committees will hear from the n.s.a. director. you can watch this in our video library at c-span.org. we'll take you live to the u.s. house. they gavel in to consider amendments to the 2014 authorization act. live coverage on c-span. in mic the chaplain: let us pray with obedient, humble hearts. father, you have given us this land for our heritage.
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we humbly ask that you will keep us mindful of our favor and our will. bless our land. save us from violence, discord and from every evil way. turn us into one united people. give wisdom to our leaders that have been elected an entrusted with the authority to govern this great nation. let these leaders be obedient to your law and let your glory shine throughout this nation. bless this nation as we put our trust in you in times of trouble and give you our thankfulness in times of prosperity. father, pour out your spirit on these men and women as they commit themselves to your service and the service of our nation. we pray this in the name of our lord and safor, jesus christ. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval
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thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from klahoma, mr. mullen. mr. mullin: please join me in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, is recognized for one minute.
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pr camp: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to welcome pastor ron dunn to the house floor and thank him for sharing his inspiring words this morning. pastor dunn has served in a number of ministry roles for the last 15 years. currently he's senior pastor to revolution church of god in harrison, michigan, where he encouraged the church to serve the community by offering counseling services and donating items such as clothing, diapers, and formula. before joining the ministry he was a member of the united states army for eight years and served in operations desert shield and desert storm. he and his wife have three daughters. on we half of the united states house of representatives -- behalf of the united states house of representatives, i would like to thank him for offering his prayer and service to god, community, and our country. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the
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speaker, house of representatives. sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on june 13, 2013, at 9:32 a.m. that the senate agrees to return the bill to the house, h.r. 2217. appointment, military compensation and retirement modernization commission. with best wishes i am, signs sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 minutes of further one-minute requests on each side of the aisle. the gentleman from arkansas seeks recognition. >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize viola and her lifetime of service to community and the state of arkansas. she will be remembered in every corner of of arkansas county as well as the halls of our high schools and by her classmates.
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she and her husband first moved there in 1958, he became the principal. his meeksins was the school secretary as well as a teacher. after deseg greg gation in 1971 she moved to the high school. mr. crawford: she spent countless hours volunteering in many places. upon the passage of her husband george, she was appointed to fulfill his term and went on to serve for over 20 years. i want to highlight the reason she sought a career as a teacher to add value to the lives of the students and fams she taught. i hope everyone who came in contact with her will honor her legacy by finding ways they can add value in lives they come into contact with on a daily basis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. joip the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: the original g.i.
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bill was one of the most significant pieces of legislation in american history. it is responsible for providing education to a generation of veterans. the right to rise and transform our nation from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. unfortunately the g.i. bill today sets forth limits for using these educational benefits. after leaving service, many veterans must postpone further education to support families who are unable to work due to lengthy rehabilitations from service related injuries. the g.i. bill benefits should not come with an expiration date. we should provide them greater flexibility. that's why i have introduced the veterans education flexibility act. this legislation would move the exploration date for veterans to take advantage of the g.i. bill's benefits and retroactively restore benefits to individuals whose benefits have expired. mr. speaker, caring four our veterans is more than thanking them for their service. on behalf of a good and glen
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russ nation, we must restore the -- generous nation, we must restore the promise to every returning veteran. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to rend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i stand before you today not only as a member of congress but as a concerned american. as a country we cannot continue to ignore obamacare's impact on jobs and small businesses. this past friday our nation witnessed yet another rise in the unemployment rate. why is it becoming increasingly give for nearly 12 million americans to secure a job? mr. mullin: when you attack a small business, you attack the backbone of our economy. american employers are struggling to manage this job-killing health care law. health care now tops the concerns facing small business owners like myself. the tough to make choice to whether we comply with the health care mandate or reject it. this is yet another regulation that is choking our economy at
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a time when we should be reating more jobs. obamacare empowers the i.r.s. an agency that administered $17 billion in improper payment to the earned income tax credit. where is the recovery america was promised? it is time we put america back to business. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. ms. brownley: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize one of my state's most important agricultural assets, the california avocado. this june during the peak of the avocado growing season, we celebrate california avocado appreciation month. california avocados are both an economic driver as well as a healthy sodium and
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cholesterol-free food option. throughout california, family farms produce 90% of the nation's avocados and many of these farms and avocado groves are in my home in ventura county. growers in ventura county are leading the way in avocado agriculture and they are true stewards of the land. it is this stewardship and their hard work that makes the future of the california avocado so bright and ventura county one of the most beautiful places in the country to live and work. i look forward to joining my colleagues to further strengthen this important economic driver for california and for our country. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the motor capital of michigan currently has the second
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highest gas prices in the country at over $4 per gallon. sadly this reality is just another painful needed reminder for the senate and the president to work with the house in passing an all of the above approach that expands american energy production, creates jobs, boosts manufacturing, makes energy more affordable, and allows america to be america. mr. walberg: the u.s. is a treasure-trove of natural resources. new practices allow producers to easily extract natural gas, coal, and oil from the ground. while doing it cheaper, safer, and with less disruption to the landscape. energy production also creates jobs. the keystone x.l. pipeline project alone would create tens of thousands of jobs. the state department declares it environmentally safe. labor unions agree it will create jobs. last month the house passed h.r. 3, the northern route approval act. to cloor the remaining barriers to construction of the project. but the administration refuses
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to move forward. why? america deserves better. the president and the senate must join our efforts to help hardworking hirps and create jobs, create an economy, and allow america to be america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady ask for unanimous consent? >> yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. ms. hahn: the men and women who serve our country every day have to worry about the fate of losing a limb or life facing the enemy. they shouldn't have to worry about the insidious sexual assault from their very own. nor should they have to live in the shadows of fear of intimidation. according to our department of defense, 26,000 service men and women who serve our country were sexually assaulted in the military in 2012. that's more than 70 service women and men sexually
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assaulted every single day in our military. that's a scary statistic. what's even scarier duele to a culture heavy unretaliation and light on prosecution, only 3,374 of those cases were even reported. this is a pervasive crisis that threatens the moral underpinnings of our military. we must take urgent act now. i actually support the underlying changes of the defense bill that we are going to be voting on this week. congress should create a transparent, fair system that ensures the safety of our men and women in the armed services who have sacrificed enough. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it just over 1 1/2% is unsatisfy. we all want better economy and jobs. mr. pompeo: the aviation manufacturing industry has been
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hit particularly hard. machinists, engineers, and families are worried about what the future might hold. that's why i have offered legislation, bipartisan legislation, offered in the senate which will reduce the burden on manufacturers who are building airplanes in the united states of america, trying to compete with global compps across the word. the -- companies across the word. h.r. 1848 would greatly reduce that burden and help manufacturers across south central kansas and across america to get the products to market faster so that we can compete and provide aircraft great tools for all businesses to compete around the world. and replace an outdated certification system and greatly ease the burden on those trying to build these great products here in the united states. this bill ensures that this industry can continue to thrive in the years and decades ahead. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one
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minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, in the six months since we have convened the 113th congress, the legislative branch has passed only 13 bills that have become law. but none of these have focused on the most urgent issue facing families across our country. jobs and the economy. this is wrong. with so many people still out of work and middle class families struggling to achieve economic security, the same old broken washington political games need to stop. the american people have had enough of congressional dysfunction and gridlock in washington. they want republicans to come to the stable and work with democrats and pass legislation that will put our country back to work. that's why i am adding my voice to a growing list of members from both parties who want leaders in the house and senate to set aside the issues that divide us and take immediate action that will create jobs, prevent unnecessary rate height on student loans, and help our small business owners succeed. let's come together not as democrats and republicans, but as americans and get our
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country moving again. let's work together to confront the big challenges facing our country. the american people deserve nothing less. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1960, the national defense authorization act. while our brave armed forces continue to fight for our national security, it is vitally important that congress eng sure their economic security. even during times of tight budgets and spending cuts, it is our responsibility to give adequate support all the way from the joint chiefs to the newest revutes. this also includes stricter penalties for personal misconduct and greater protection for victims of assault. texas 25th district is home to fort hood. one of the largest military installations in the world. these soldiers and all who wear the uniform need to know their congress is behind them, giving them the best armored trucks you can drive, best planes you can fly, best weapons you can fire, and best ammunition can
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you use. mr. williams: we need to have an unbeatable military readiness and the highest quality of life possible for the greatest military in the history of the world. even with restraint resources, this bill will support and project our troops and their families and provide the american people with the peace they deserve. in god we trust. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> climate change is taking effect on our country. mrs. capps: we must not forget that we live on a blue planet so ocean change is a problem as well. the same things that are change ours climate are changing our ocean. our oceans absorb a tremendous
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amount of carbon die yocks side from the atmosphere. as pollution increases, so does the acidity of the ocean. it's threatening the survival of entire food chains and ocean ecosystems that we all depend on for food, jobs and recreation. our window of opportunity to address this problem is quickly closing and with every day we fail to act, we further jeopardize the future of ocean resources. the president has declared this month as national oceans month and last weekend the international community celebrated world oceans day. let's live up to this challenge, let's take action on commonsense measures for healthy and productive oceans now and into the future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i ask nam consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to recognize a milestone in the history of st. mary of the woods college
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located in my district. as an early leader in distance learn, st. mary of the woods college is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing quality distance education for tudents across the nation. the program began with sister jean nerly as a way to educate women who needed a way to earn a college degree and was expanded to provide access to men. known today as woods online, it's one of the largest online programs in indiana. more than 8,000 students are -- 800 students are enrolled online from across the country. i thank femme for -- them for offering a nontraditional means for state of the union os achieve their dreams and goals. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one
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minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> today we will be considering an immigration enforcement bill as controversial asdangerous -- as it is dangerous. while the senate is working in good faith to real reform, some of my colleagues continue to push partisan education that does nothing to fix our broken immigration system or get us closer to real reform. if my colleagues will indulge me i'd like to say a few words in spanish. mr. garcia: [speaking spanish]
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mr. garcia: our nation cannot afford to play partisan politics. now is the time for real immigration reform. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will provide the clerk a translation of his remarks. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to recognize mr. bob mckay a lifelong resident of tennessee who was recently inducted into the tennessee radio hall of fame. mr. desjarlais: he listened to the radio accounts of the attacks on pearl harbor and realized how important radio is to keep us informed. he filed with the f.c.c. to but then io station
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left to join the war effort. he left the application with his father and said, if i make it back, aisle want that application for a radio station for clumia. he was a founding member of the tennessee association of broadcasters and served on the board of numerous charities in columbia. he retired in 2008 after 62 years in the broadcasting industry. in his work and personal life he has always followed highest christian principles. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. in less than three weeks student loan interest rates will double for a million of the country's neediest students. and from -- from 3 ppt 4% to 6.8%, unless congress takes
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decisive action to maintain the current interest rates. the rising cost of college ducation is driving many young americans to assume historically high levels of student debt. with college tuition growing rapidly, the doors of opportunity are closing on today's students. the problem will only get worse if congress does not act soon. with the job market still recovering, we should not be asking students with the greatest need to be burdened by higher loan costs. making college more affordable is one of the best investments our nation can make in america's economic future. we craft a long-term solution for students that -- -- for student debt and it must be now as part of a comprehensive approach to lowering the cost of college. but time is running out. in january, the rates rise.
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we don't need the sham we passed in the last congress that makes the situation worsen. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. johnson: i rise today to congratulation an extraordinary group of 21 students who have been chosen the future leaders of our armed forces. they have received appointments from the united states service academies. eight received appointments from the air force, my personal favorites -- favorite, four from the naval academy, eight from the military academy and one from the her vant -- merchant marine. i'm proud of this group. they'll get one of the finest educations available and learn the meaning of duty, honor, commitment, and sacrifice to this great nation. the meaning to america, america
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has the finest fighting men and women in the world an these students who are the best and brightest are needed now more than ever. i'm confident that they will represent the third district of texas well. i salute each one for the endeavor they are about to undertake. god bless them and god bless america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i represent the san joaquin valley of california where our business is growing healthy and safe foods. mr. costa: it's the bread basket of america. even in our agriculturally rich regionmark of the same families who labor to produce these crops struggle to feed their children. this is part of the tragedy of hunger in america. i have witnessed first hand the challenges of these families
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faced living on an average of a snap benefit, which is $4.50 per day. while i'm a a strong supporter of passing a farm dill, -- farm bill, i have serious concerns about what the proposed cuts mean for 16.2 million children nationwide whore faced with hunger. we must and can do better. i hope we pass the farm bill in the house next week and if so, i will be fighting to make sure that these children have a seat at the table when we go to the conference with the senate. budget choices are a reflection of our priorities. in a time of such economic hardship we can and must make those who are most vulnerable in our society to ensure they are fed properly. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to a dress the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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as i travel my district back home, folks tell stories about how the obama economy is failing families, young people, seniors, workers, and future generations. too many western pennsylvanians are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work. just last week, we learned a pennsylvania coal company was forced to lay off over 100 miners and other employees. these hard working men and women are mothers and fathers, they have fallen victim to the stagnant economy and president obama's war on coal. while the rest of country is struggling, however, washington, d.c. is booming. in fact, the suburbs here surrounding our capitol include seven of the 10 richest counties in the country. it's easy for politicians and unelected federal employees to spend recklessly when they're safely ensconced here in washington. this bubble has left the rest of country mind. hardworking americans need
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washington to stop booming so the rest of the country has a chance to grow, possprer -- prosper and add jobs. i -- jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my rashes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> last year i ran for congress on no budget, no pay, the concept that if congress doesn't pass a budget and do its job, we should not be paid. in so doing, i joined my republican colleagues here in the house in being critical of the democrats in the senate who had not passed a budget for four years. as a result of our actions, we have forced the senate to pass their budget and we in the house have passed our own. now, according to our rules and centuries of practice, we're supposed to have a conference to reck re-con sile the senate and house budgets so we can approve a compromise and forward a congressional budget to the president for his signature. when i go home i hear a sense of surget -- urgetscy from san
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diegoians. too many in washington, d.c. who are well paid and comfortable seem to care more about politics than helping american families and businesses that are struggling. now is the time to honor the american people by doing our jobs. mr. speaker, please appoint conferees now so we can pass the federal budget and get on with our work. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i would like to call the attention of this chamber to a government program that's under budget and immensely popular. when medicare part d was first passed it was controversial and rightly. so it represented one of the largest expansions of medicare since its creation. what cannot be contested is part d's success.
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the premiums is less than half of the premium projected. benefits have expanded giving senior more options. mr. hultgren: the increased use of prescriptions by seniors is offset by these benefits. 96% of seniors say their coverage works well. the benefits of competition, convention and consumer choice have been tested and proven and it begs the question, when will we apply these principles to other federal health care programs? and why is the president trying to cripple part d through price controls and new taxes when it's performing well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for - recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to recognize the recent opening of
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the forest hill memorial park. it was opened for all citizens to honor the contributions of our men and women in union forl this special memorial park includes the names of men and women who served in all branches of the military. mr. veasey: there's also a monument honoring public safety officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. i attended the dedication for the ceremony on memorial day and i can personally attest to the fact that it truly hon norse veterans of forest hill and the surrounding communities across the united states. i commend forest hill elected officials who worked tirelessly to bring such a park to the north texas community. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? the gentlelady is
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the gentlelady from indiana is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to highlight the terrible consequences obamacare is having on working families. in my district, zionsville community school corporation, was forced to cut hours for substitute teachers, instructal adisance and other staff because of the employer mandate. mrs. brooks : one of the administrator who just cut coaches, aids, and assistants asked did they really think about the seventh and eighth grade basketball coach or substitute teacher or part-time instructional aid when they wrote this law? schools shouldn't be forced to cut back on services for kids because washington is too stubborn to roll back a failed initiative. while 12 million americans are still looking for a job, schools are cutting hours and consequently people's pay. and a recent study by the u.s. chamber of commerce found obamacare is the number one concern for small businesses and soon our children and families will learn it's the number one concern for school systems. mr. speaker, this law is hurting our students, school
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systems, workers, and economy. we must repeal it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? the gentleman from utah is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to voice my support for american sienna mr. mathison: is studying studying at the university of utah. i sat down with several college students and talked about their experiences and why it is important for congress to come together. not surprisingly sierra and the other students i spoke with are concerned about the prospect of student loan interest rates doubling on july 1. what impressed me the most was listening to the aspiration of these students. many of which i promised to share here on the floor of the house of representatives. she shared her hopes of becoming a large animal vet,
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hoping to specialize in equine medicine research. her dedication towards this goal are apparent. aside from being a full-time student, she works with large animals at a nearby clinic. sierra, is relying on subsidized students loans to help pay for education. as a sophomore she still has time to choose whether to continue her schooling by pursuing a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, but she has worries about what a higher interest rate would me. education is the key to opportunity. our public policies should make sure everyone in america has the opportunity to pursue their dream. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. members are reminded not to traffic the wells while another member is speaking. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today because the united states senate, although this country has turned a corner on the economy, there are millions of americans who are out of work.
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mr. nugent: as we inch closer every day towards the implementation of obamacare, these businesses are at risk. jobs on the line mr. speaker. previous employment hours are precious employment hours are on the line. there are steps this house has taken over the last 2 1/2 years. we have voted almost 40 times to repeal and replace obamacare with something special. we passed bills here in the house with over 400 votes, and those bills to help small businesses have withered on the vine in the senate. while the white house continues to stumble from scandal to scandal, it's still incumbent upon the president to show leadership as it relates to jobs. there are bills waiting for consideration in the senate that will make a very real difference to american people. the house is done and will continue to do everything possible to put american people back to work. and this cannot be done alone.
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we need the senate and the president to work with us. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to give voice to the thousands of men and women who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country and our armed forces. ms. titus: the message penning estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted last year. that's 70 assaults a day. but only 13% of the victims have reported the crime because of fear of retaliation. we must establish a culture in our military that has zero tolerance for sexual assault. a culture that protects not intimidates victims. that prosecutors not excuses
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perpetrators, and that denounces not ignores sexual violence. we must make it a priority to end this unfathomable crime within our military and provide victims with the care that they need and deserve. next week i will introduce the national guard military sexual trauma parity act to ensure that victims sexual trauma in the national guard also have success to the resources and services they need. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. ms. foxx: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. it is disappointing that president obama and senate democrats cannot agree with republicans in the house on a simple issue like preventing student loan rates from doubling. although a bipartisan vote in the house passed the smarter solutions for students act, the
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president and senate have panned this common ground approach. the smarter solutions for students act is a simple plan ready made for bipartisan compromise as it was paterned after president obama's own budget proposal. politicizing the coming student loan interest rate hike not an option if we are serious about a july 1 solution. i urge my colleagues in the senate to build off of the smarter solutions for students act proposal and commit to a long-term solution for students that eliminates the washington guessing game from the rate setting equation. ignoring the common ground republicans already share with president obama puts politics ahead of students. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. himes: mr. speaker, the american people need to understand what's happening on the floor of the house this week with respect to the farm bill. now it's a complicated thing with agricultural subsidies,
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commodity treatments, and food stamps. here's where the american public needs to pay attention because the republican majority in this chamber is using unprecedented and massive cuts to food stamps to get an agricultural bill passed. what are food stamps? food stamps are about $4.50 a day. the hungry children and vulnerable seniors. i'm not going to dignify this amoral effort with a counter argument. i'm just going to observe that i'm standing under four words, in god we trust. i'm going to observe the minister this morning opened this house with a prayer to our lord and savior jesus christ and say two things. pro verbs, 22:9, whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed for he shares his bread with the poor. matthew 25:37, lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? or thirsty and give you drink?
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and the king will answer them truly i say to you as you did it to the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from south dakota seek recognition 1234 -- south dakota seek recognition? the gentlelady. the gentlewoman from south dakota is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. mrs. noem: the a ceaseless march of immigration out of washington threatens to choke off american innovation. government spending continues at unsustainable levels. the specter of obamacare? it wlooms large over every sector of our economy. is it any wonder we continue to see stagnant job numbers like those released last week? nearly 12 million americans are out of work. 4.4 million of them with no jobs for six months or more. simply put, it's not fair. it's not fair to any american which is why house republicans are committed to securing the
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future for all americans. we have a plan to create jobs and expand opportunity and we'll do it by growing the economy, not by growing the government. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. madam speaker, i rise today to stand with the families of those who fell in sandy hook who are here on this campus today to talk about unfinished business. i stand with them in mourning the trey vails of their family members who died by senseless gun violence and thousands who have died since. i will soon leave this house to go to read the names of those who have died since sandy hook, and beg my colleagues for once
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to come together and vote for universal background checks, gun storage laws that simply provide safety and security for our children. unfinished business. i stand here today as well to resort trust to the american people about their privacy rights and civil liberties. and ask my colleagues in a very bipartisan manner to rein in the number of private contractors, 70% of the intelligence budget, and i intend to introduce legislation that will hopefully find an opportunity for bipartisan, thoughtful effort to bring back the trust of the american people. madam speaker, we have unfinished business. i stand here to finish it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman indiana is recognized for one minute.
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>> thank you. last week's jobs report was yet another stark reminder that our economy is far from recovered. mrs. walorski: nearly 12 million americans relane out of work. 4.4 million people have been out of work for six months or more. these are more than just numbers. they come out of some monthly bureau of labor statistics. these are our fellow americans. these are our friends, family. these are our neighbors and kids. these are the folks next door. and they each and every one of them deserve better. house republicans have passed legislation that helps wrking -- working families maintain that crucial work-life balance. we passed a long-term fix to the student loan programs to make life better for our recent grads. these are real solutions and they are all a part of the house republican plan to create jobs and to carry our future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition?
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>> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the entlelady is recognized. it has on: mr. speaker, been 893 days since i arrived in congress and the republican leadership has not allowed a single vote on serious legislation to address our unemployment crisis. but there is no shortage of policies to solve this crisis. one of the best things we can do to create jobs is to pass immigration reform. when we bring undocumented workers in from the shadows where they are abused and paid the low minimum wages, we boost wages for all americans. a recent study by the center for american progress shows that granting legal status to undocumented workers would create up to 159,000 jobs per
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year over the next five years. by empowering undocumented people to earn higher wages, immigration reform will enable people to spend more on food, clothing, and housing. this strengthens the american economy. and creates jobs. immigration reform is not only about justice, it's about jobs, obs, jobs. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a message. the clerk: to the congress of the united states. section 202-d of the national emergencies act provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration the president publishes in the federal register and transmits to the congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary
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date. in accordance with this provision i have sent to the federal register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies with certain members of the government of belarus and other persons who undermine belarus' democratic processes or institutions that was declared in executive order 13405 of june 16, 2006, is to continue in effect beyond june 16, 2013. . the government of belarus continued its crackdown against civil society and independent media. the elections failed to meet international standards. they imprisoned citizens for criticizing officials or for participating in demon stations, imprisoned at least one human rights activist on manufactured charges and prevented infeint media from disseminating materials.
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these actions show the government of belarus hasn't taken steps forward in the development of democratic governance and human rights. the actions and policies of certain members of the government of belarus -- belarus to undermine belarus' institutions, engage in public corruption continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the united states. for this reason, i have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in executive order 13405 with respect to belarus. signed, barack obama, the white house. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 260 and ask for its immediate consideration.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 260, resolved that at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of the bill h r. 1960 to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2014 for military activities of the department of defense and for military construction. to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year and for other purposes. no further general debate shall be in order. section 2a. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on armed services now printed in the bill it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print
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113-13 modified by the amendment prinned in part a of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text shall be in order except those printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution. c, each amendment printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question and the house -- in the house or in
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the committee of the whole. d, all points of order against amendments printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules or against moments en bloc described in section three of this amendment are waive. section three, it shall be in order at any time for the chair of the committee on armed services or his designee to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution, not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc offered pursuant to this section that will be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divide and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on armed services or their designees, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. the original proponent of an amendment included in such amendments en bloc may insert a statement in the congressional record immediately before the
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disposition of the amendments en bloc. section four, at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one hour. >> for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. all time yielded is for debate only. i ask unanimous consent that
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all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. nugent: house resolution 260 is a structured rule that provides house consideration of amendments to this year's national defense authorization act. as i explained when i was down here yesterday, the rules committee received hundreds of amendments to the ndaa every single year. this time we had 299 amendments to make our way through. while the volume of amendments was massive, the rules committee evaluated each and every one in developing this rule. we're not able to make every amendment in order but i believe this rule will allow for the exhaustive debate of a vast majority of the issues presented in committee. yesterday a rule provided for one hour of general debate on the underlying bill h.r. 1960. today we're considering a structured rule that provides members of the house with the opportunity to have copious an
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free flowing debate on many of the issues contained in the underlying legislation. as a member of both the rules committee and the armed services committee, i know how complicated and far reaching the national defense authorization act can be. i've sat through multiple subcommittee markups on this legislation. we had nearly 16 hour long full committee markup on this bill. a meeting that started early wednesday and lasted through -- lasted into thursday morning. now we've had two rules committee hearings on this bill. including yesterday's hearing which took almost 10 hours from start to finish. having spent as much time with this legislation as i have, i can promise you this -- the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014 is a good bill. that's why the armed services committee passed it with an overwhelming vote of 59-2. and we need to acknowledge chairman mckeon and ranking member smith for fostering such
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a bipartisan and collaborative approach. this rule is the next step in that transparent and cooperative process. of the 299 amendments that we received in the rules committee h.res. 260 makes 172 of them in order. these to the use a technical term, that's a lot of amendments. despite that, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will remind us that even with 172 amendments allowed on the floor, it's still not an open rule and clearly they're right. but let me assure you that this is also a fair and inclusive rule. having considered each of the amendments offered in the rules committee, i can honestly say that we have -- we're here today -- what we have here today is the rule that gives the house the opportunity to debate all the major topics contained in the underlying legislation without duplicating efforts and having multiple amendments on the same issue. for example, we heard many members speak on the house floor yesterday about sexual assault in the military. the underlying legislation
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takes significant and necessary steps to combat, prosecute, and prevent this heinous crime. but given the importance of this issue, the rule committees understandably received five different amendments all related to sexual assault. so i'm proud to say that h.res. 260 provides the house with an opportunity to debate this issue and ask ourselves if there isn't more that we can do another major topic, one that is -- none of us can ignore, is the nature of the military's operation in afghanistan. we need to ask ourselves what's going to happen at the end of 2014. at which time the president -- president obama indicated we will have moved strictly to a security operation in that country. the rules committee received no less than four different amendments on afghanistan. i'm happy to say the rule allows for debate on the issue by way of amendment offered by my colleague from the rules committee, mr. mcgovern, and i look forward to that.
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i look forward to having the opportunity to join the gentleman from massachusetts in supporting that important and i think commonsense amendment. my hat's off to you for that. and the list goes on. energy, the use of dropes, guantanamo bay, missile defense, the rule allows for amendments on all of these important topics. i'm going to vote for some of the amendments in this rule that this rule makes in order. i'm going to vote against others. but first and foremost i'm going to vote for this rule. the bill has to -- the bill is done the right way. it went through the subcommittee process, i had a thorough markup in the full committee, it went to the rule committees where we were diligent about making sure with gave the consideration it deserves and provided it with two rules. h.res. 260 is the next step in a thoughtful, bipartisan process. i'm proud of this rule and the underlying legislation and the process that has gotten us to where we are today. for that reason, i encourage
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all of my leagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in passing this rule, passing the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014, and making sure our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need to complete the mission safely and successfully. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for one hour. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from florida, my friend mr. nugent, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern sprk the rule for the defense authorizations bill is a structured rule. over 300 amendments were submitted to the rules committee and 172 were made in order. this was a very difficult task. made even more difficult because the majority scheduled only two days for debate on
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amendments to this 850-page bill. but i would like to add a special word of appreciation for the rules committee staff, both majority and minority, who worked tirelessly for long hours to prepare this bill and its amendments for debate. i think most of my colleagues do not have the appreciation for what the staff and even the members of the rules committee have to go through but i think they should. appreciate their work even more after this rule is being brought before the floor today. i'm pleased that one of the amendments included in this rule is my amendment on the war in afghanistan. this is a bipartisan amendment which will be debated and voted on later today. it is co-sponsored by walter jones of north carolina and ranking member adam smith of washington along with representatives lee and gare men tee of california. a -- garamendi of california. a similar amendment was not allowed debate last year and i
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want to particularly thank chairman sessions members of the rule committees, my good friend mr. nugent and the republican leadership of the house for allowing debate on the war to occur this year. it is the right thing to do and i appreciate that they take seriously the responsibilities of the thousands to debate issues of war and peace and the sending and keeping our service men and women in harm's way. however, i'm disappointed the debate will only last 10 minutes. that's the amount of time designated for the -- for this amendment. 10 minutes is not really enough time for a genuine debate on the war in afghanistan and what might next be required of our troops and how much staying in afghanistan will cost us. afghanistan has turned into the longest war in american history, other 12 years so far. and heaven only knows, mr. speaker, it has cost us dearly in both blood and treasure. those costs will haunt us for decades to come.
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as so many of our veterans have returned wounded in body, mind, and soul. 2,235 american military personnel have been killed in afghanistan. even more will be sacrificed before our troops come home. over 17,000 have been wounded. it's estimated that over 30,000 afghan civilians have been killed since 2001. 349 of our veterans committed suicide last year. more than 310 service men and women who were kill -- more than the 310 service men and women killed in theater in afghanistan. since 2001, including the money in this bill, we have spent $778 billion for operation enduring freedom. nearly all of that in afghanistan. right now, as we speak on the floor of this house, we're spending over $7 billion each month in afghanistan.
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every hour costs us nearly $10 million. in all this time we have helped support a corrupt karzai government a government that gets billions of dollars each year and billions more under the table. surely this war and the possible extended deployment of our brave troops for an indefinite period of time are worth a little bit more time than has been given for debate. but mr. speaker, members will have the opportunity to debate and vote later today on ensuring the president completes his timeline to transfer all combat military and security -- all combat, military, and security to afghan control by 2014 at which time u.s. operations is to end and to express that should the president determine to extend the deployment of u.s. troops in afghanistan after 2014, then the united states congress should specifically vote to authorize that mission. so i would urge all

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